Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is closely related to SEO — in fact, since conversions are the goal of SEO, you could say SEO depends on CRO.
Surprisingly, organizations that invest considerable sums of money in SEO often pay little attention to CRO on their company websites. This is, of course, very frustrating to SEO agencies in situations where organic traffic increases substantially but conversions do not. Here are five CRO issues that we frequently address with clients. When improvements are made, it usually translates into lead generation growth and much improved ROI on the SEO campaign.
Poor offers and calls to action. If calls to action are nonexistent or weak (for example, “learn more”), site visitors just don’t get enough of a push to fill out an inquiry form or call. Sometimes an organization will have a truly valuable offer, but bury it so deep in the website few visitors see it.
User-unfriendly forms. Issues with forms include poor mobile-friendly design, too many required fields, unclear submit commands, poor or nonexistent automated response to alert the user that the inquiry has been received, and what to expect next.
Hard-to-find phone number. For a lead generation website, the phone number for inquiries should be visible everywhere on the website to the point it is unmissable. For mobile design, fixing the phone icon in the header nav with click-to-call function is essential.
Poor images. Superb pics of the staff, facilities, products, services and applications are worth 1,000 words, if not more. Although custom photography may have a hefty price tag, the result is worth its weight in gold for conversions. In particular, photos that showcase key features and benefits have a far greater impact on site visitors than plain text, no matter how well it is written.
Weak credibility statements. Unless an organization is a household name, most site visitors are naturally skeptical, having no doubt dealt with companies whose claims exceed their capabilities. Nevertheless, many organizations score a complete “fail” when it comes to showcasing their successes. Credibility statements that work for SEO include simple things such as award emblems, logos of recognizable clients, a solid BBB rating, or mentions of years in business or the number of clients. Adding this type of information on the home page, SEO landing page(s) and inquiry form almost always improve conversions.
Of course, CRO goes much deeper into web design. However, if any of these five elements are substandard, SEO results suffer — along with an organization’s overall ability to generate sales leads regardless of the source of the website visitor.
There’s a flip side to the problem of SEO without CRO — the organization that spends tons of money and time testing and tweaking every CRO variable under the sun and thus has an irresistible website … that never sees the light of day because the site is invisible in Google search.
Bottom line: SEO and CRO go hand in hand.